5 Myths About Women and Car Loans Busted

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Karan and Nitya were thinking of buying a car for their family. Karan tried to talk Nitya into buying a car that looked fashionable. But, Nitya was particular that the car was for family use. She wanted it to have good safety features. So, they finally settled on a used car that was high on quality and easy to use, though it was not so fashionable.

Car manufacturers are now designing vehicles to match women’s preferences. A Nielsen study looked into gender-specific auto needs and found that women play a crucial role in decision-making nowadays. Here are some myths about car purchases related to women:

1. Very few women drive in this country:

One of the many myths in India about women drivers is that they are few in number. The gender gap is reducing on Indian roads. This may be because women have access to better career opportunities now. More women are buying used cars and new cars and availing loans. For instance, Patna, saw an increase of about 37% women drivers in 2010 2011 from the previous year. The number of car registrations by women too doubled between 2008 and 2011.

2. Women do not buy cars for independent use:

This is another myth surrounding women and cars. The fact is that auto companies are now designing their products keeping women in mind. More women are buying cars, as they have more control over their finances. Unlike before, they are more involved in decision-making. Women are buying more passenger vehicles, including sedans. Maruti, India’s largest car manufacturer reported that it made 11% of its sales across brands to women, and expect women to buy more cars in future.

3. Very few women drive to earn a living:

This is another myth. The number of professional female drivers is not as low as people believe. The number of woman cabbies in India is growing. Online taxi services in the country are also welcome to the idea of woman cabbies. These services have boosted the number of female commercial drivers. Uber has partnered with UN Women to create 10 lakh jobs for female drivers by 2020. This will only increase the number of women applying for auto loans.

4. Car loans for women are more expensive:

Many lenders have specific loan options for women which are comparatively inexpensive. Some institutions even cut the interest rate on car loans for women. So, the idea that car loans are more expensive for women is incorrect.

5. Women do not influence car buying decisions:

This myth no longer holds true. About 50% of the women respondents in a Nielsen study had played an important role in influencing car-buying decisions. About 25% had decided on key features of the vehicle including the make and the kind of car. Around 75% of them were the sole decision-makers when they bought a car.

The bottom line

Things are not the same as they were before. Rising incomes are enabling more women to buy cars. Thus, they are also more likely to avail auto loans to finance their car purchases.

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